Chapter 3.5: capsule wardrobe challenge completed!

Why hello there, friends! Betcha didn’t think you’d hear from me so soon, eh? I’ll bet you thought I’d be buried under mounds of clothing for the rest of the weekend. Am I right? Because if you thought that, you weren’t the only one.

My side of the closet before (no judgment, y'all!)
my side of the closet before (no judgment, y’all!)

To be completely honest with you, I was terrified of the capsule wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong, it sounded like a great idea, ideally. But in practice… whittling down my entire winter clothes accumulation into a finite number of countably wearable pieces* seemed like a daunting task. I dreaded it. I thought it would take forever.

But it didn’t! The fantastic Caroline (check her out at Unfancy) really knows what she’s doing, because I followed her instructions and I had it completely done (put away, bagged up, the works!) within 3 hours. To be fair, I did change up the rules a bit to work for my situation. Here’s what I did:

  1. I took everything out of my closet and stacked it into 4-5 piles on my bed:
    Lady the cat was "helping"
    Lady the cat was “helping”
    1. Love it
    2. Maybe
    3. Definitely not
    4. Seasonal
    5. Seasonal maybe**
  2. After this step, I split my Love pile in half: casual clothes for the weekend, and business casual work pieces. Because I work in an office environment, I felt comfortable keeping a larger wardrobe with the distinction between the two types.
  3. I went through my Maybe/Seasonal piles and pulled out layering pieces to wear under sweaters, vests, cardigans, etc.
  4. I took a very critical look at my Loves to be sure that I could actually pick something out and wear it immediately***
  5. I re-organized my closet, stashed away the Maybes until the end of the season, stored Seasonal pieces in the guest bedroom closet, and packed away the Nopes to donate (including a TON of hangers).

To be completely honest, I was so anxious about this whole process that I anticipated it taking me the rest of the weekend, so I was really pleased when it didn’t. I was also pleasantly surprised by my decisiveness – it was so easy for me to put everything in piles and leave them there.

Winter Capsule wardrobe
after: my 2015 winter capsule wardrobe (and roomy closet!)

2015 Winter Capsule Wardrobe: the bottoms, layering, and shoes
after: 2015 winter capsule wardrobe

I think this process was so easy for me because I needed it – badly. My new, more open closet makes me so happy – my inner predilection for particularity has been satiated****. Of course, it’s only been two days, so we’ll see how the outfit-creation process goes.

I could give the particulars of my wardrobe, but I think I’ll wait and make sure I actually wear everything first. Fortunately, the results are pretty evident from the pictures, and I’m looking forward to seeing how fewer clothing options impact my morning routine.

Have any of you ever considered doing a capsule wardrobe? Have you had success with it? I’d love to hear what you think! Comment below or message me to let me know.

*See what I did there, math nerds?

**This was not included in the original instructions, but because I had so many season-specific clothes (mostly summer, because it gets hella hot down here) I wanted to pare down the amount of work I’ll have to do for the next 3 seasons.

***Excepting crazy weather variations, of course… let’s not forget that I live in the South, where it is often 65 degrees and rainy on Christmas.

****How’s that for vocabulary from a math nerd? Actually, my husband the writer helped – thanks Stephen!

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